Midwest Tour Days 2-6

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last I left you, I had embarked on my Midwest tour in search of a computer to download images. No such luck. Plus, I've been just plain busy on this "vacation." It has been a blast reconnecting with old friends--unfortunately I mean "old" by both definitions. I've seen people who knew me from my middle school days, the college years and early parenthood. The time period literally spans over 25 years! Although we've sent the Christmas cards and infrequent emails, nothing makes up for being face to face and getting a real hug.

So far I have managed to rack up over 700 miles on my rental car, gain at least five pounds and sample coffee at five different Starbucks while sleeping the hours of a newborn baby. Here I've shared some highlights along with my favorite pictures.

Day Two: Arrived in Cincinnati late afternoon at the home of Jennifer, Grayson and Hayes Snyder. Jennifer and I were in a newborn playgroup during our Charlotte days. Her daughter Grayson is three months older than Quinn and her son Hayes is three months younger than Ian. They left Charlotte in 1998 and landed in Cincy in 2001. She hasn't changed a lick but boy have the kiddos. We sat out on the screened-in porch, (during a thunderstorm) shared a bottle of wine and caught up on the last seven years since we last saw one another. It was delightful. We played games with the kids, had pizza, watched American Idol and crashed.

Jennifer, Grayson (12) and Hayes (10)

Jen had to work the next morning and since I didn't get up until 11, she left this mug in the kitchen with fresh coffee. It says "Good friends are like stars, you don't always see them, but you know they're always there" How very true.

Their camera-shy Retriever, Deuteronomy (or "Deut" for short)

Day 3: Drove back to Columbus and picked up my mom. We drove two hours north to Bowling Green, Ohio. Never heard of it? Other than Bowling Green State University, their other claim to fame is being the home to Olympic skater Scott Hamilton. And that's about all. We checked in to our hotel, had DQ Blizzards for dinner and tucked in for the night.

Day 4: Tooled around downtown Bowling Green and enjoyed the warm sunshine. Arrived at the church hall to help the Davis clan decorate for the reception. We all burst into tears as soon as we locked eyes on each other. It had been 12 years but felt like yesterday. Our little Emily was all grown up as were her two brothers now in their 20's. I realized how, although time marches on, we really do hold on to the image of someone at the age when we last saw them. It was surreal. We hung out with them and let her order us around (after all those years of me doing that to her, I'm sure she enjoyed it) for a few hours.

The Rehearsal dinner: Jake dressed up for the occasion. Hat and all.

"Baby Jonathan" Their family moved in next door when he was in Shelley's womb. He was also the ringbearer in our wedding 17 years ago. Isn't he gorgeous?

The whole Davis clan: Emily, Shelley, Jonathan, Zachary and Bruce

Day Four: We couldn't be this close to a major midwest city and not track down a Chick-fil-A. After a Google search we discovered one was 22 miles away and off we went. After searching up and down the road it was supposed to be on, realizing it was probably in the mall, and walking from one end to other, we enjoyed feasting on our chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and sweeeeeeeeeet tea. Such simple pleasures. Next was the wedding and I don't think I've seen a more beaming bride. The ceremony was very personalized and the minister who officiated had a long history with both Emily and Jake prior to them knowing each other. This made for a couple of funny and sweet stories

The happy couple: Jake & Emily

Mr. & Mrs. Miley

Day Five: Woke up at 5 A.M. and hit the road by 5:45 to get my mom to back to the Columbus airport for her flight. After saying goodbye (and getting her settled in to her erroneously canceled flight--don't ask) I hit the road again. Three hours later I arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Schoon's. Kristen and I met in a college bible study her freshman and my sophomore year. We've managed to stay in touch with regular phone calls and visits. Her mom lives in the Bellingham area so we get to see them more often despite the distance. I was a little directionally challenged when driving in to the neighborhood so her darling three boys met me on the corner and escorted me to the house. I quickly learned that her life is quite similar to mine (and her boys are similar ages) and I felt right at home. It helped that they are natural hosts themselves. Their home is so comfortable and they even gave me my own room and bathroom. I could get used to this. Ron grilled steaks (again, I could get used to this) and we enjoyed a great dinner. In the middle of the meal, Ryan (8) turned to me and said, "What are the qualities you like most about my mom?" Is that precious or what??? After dinner, we went to Ryan and Peter's piano recital and saw some amazing talent.

Day 6: I seem to have stayed on west coast time as I didn't wake up until close to 10:00. What a slouch! Kristen took me on a personally guided tour of Fort Wayne culminating with the children's zoo. It was quite a place and we enjoyed "strolling" without any strollers of our own. I picked the two youngers boys up from school since she and Peter had play practice. When we were getting out of the car, Ryan (my new sweetheart) looked at me and said "I enjoy you being here." My heart is melting over this kid! That night Kristen took me to her favorite restaurant and then to dessert at DeBrand's chocolates. Is it any wonder I am packing on the pounds??

Peter (11), Luke (6), Ryan (8)

So now it's back to Columbus this afternoon and arriving in Seattle at 11p.m. tonight. I have missed some pretty big events with my own family while I've been away. I think I'll have enough material there for a week's worth of posts. Thanks for reading.


2 Responses to “Midwest Tour Days 2-6”

four little acorns said...

Hi friend, hope you are back safe and sound! It sounds like you had a WONDERFUL time away! Blizzards for dinner, YUM :) Can't wait to read the new chapter of all the haps at the house while you were away!

lacey said...

You sure made the most of your time away but it's great to have my friend back!